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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 20, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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they have donated bats and batting gloves and fielding gloves and cleats for the entire iraqi national team. we didn't ask for help. they saw our segment on iraqi baseball and called us. they called us and asked if they could make this donation. so did a seattle based company that called us after they saw our segment on the iraqi team. ebbets asked us to ask the team what they wanted for jerseys. the iraqi team requested blue jerseys with the post saddam iraqi flag on the front and iraqi baseball written on the back above the numbers. ebbets field flannels recreates historically accurate vintage jerseys and will make the iraq team jerseys free of charge and they're throwing in pants and hats as well. so we're sending this stuff now. we're going to send the uniforms when they're ready. how are we shipping this stuff to iraq? i'm glad you asked. an international trade company based in ashland, ohio with experience in exports, imports,
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customs and all the other things you need to be an expert at to make a shipment like this is donating their services. they are called star usa incorporated. star usa international trade services. they are doing what needs to be done to get the gear from here to baghdad. so this is where i say thank you. thank you to ctg athletics and ebbets flannels and star usa. thank you to all the other companies and organizations who contacted us and offered unsolicited donations and advice for this very unexpected project. thanks to mcclatchy for their reporting and helping us follow up on their reporting and putting us in touch with the iraqi national baseball team. thanks to all of you who were moved by the story to ask how you could help. at right now we have linked to some organizations that provide help to iraqi civilians in a much more sustainable way than a tv show could ever pull off. if you felt moved to try to help out this team, you can make that thought count by making a donation to the organization of
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your choosing. we've got some links to get you started at so thanks, everybody. it's very exciting. and that's your operation iraqi baseball update for now. we turn now to our lead story tonight. it is the heart breaking and infuriating situation involving an american soldier who has been taken captive by the taliban inside afghanistan. we had known that this soldier had been missing since june 30th and we knew of the taliban's claims that they were holding him hostage but now the taliban has produced proof with a 28-minute video showing private first class bowe bergdahl apparently in taliban custody. mr. bergdahl is from hailey, idaho based out of fort richardson, alaska. he has been serving in afghanistan about five months. today his family released a statement thanking the public for its support and asking for prayers for his safe return. footage like this and an individual, personal story like this young soldier's story has managed to draw the attention of the nation back to the war in afghanistan in a way almost
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nothing else has been able to in months. just today defense secretary bob gates announced the overall size of the u.s. army is being temporarily increased by 22,000 troops to meet the demands of the wars in afghanistan and iraq. as expected the recent increase of troops has brought with it an increase in casualties. july has been the deadliest month for u.s. troops in afghanistan since the war began in october of 2001. at least 30 u.s. troops have been killed there this month along with at least 55 nato troops. even as we're engaged in the massive upscale of our military presence in afghanistan the story now getting the war in afghanistan back onto the front pages is not the overall military operation but the story of private first class bowe bergdahl and the infuriating fact that he is being forced to do the types of propaganda videos we have seen for generations now when american soldiers are taken prisoner. >> please, please bring us home
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so that we can be back where we belong and not over here wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. please bring us home. >> that statement from private bergdahl is not about the american war in afghanistan whatever you think about it. that, what you just heard is what people holding american soldiers captive make them say for propaganda purposes. during the vietnam war for example then lieutenant commander john mccain was forced to write and sign a statement that read, quote, i am a black criminal and i have performed the deeds of an air pirate. i almost died and the vietnamese people saved my life. thanks to the doctors. seeing private first class bergdahl put through the same paces american p.o.w.s have been put through so many times before strikes an emotional cord in this country as it would in any country.
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president obama had this reaction to the situation in an interview with nbc's meredith viera that's going to air tomorrow morning. >> it's always heart breaking. our young men and women who are serving in our armed forces do such an extraordinary job, put themselves in harm's way each and every day especially those who are deployed in afghanistan, and in iraq, and so seeing something like this makes you think about families, makes you think about the young man. we are hopeful that it will have a good ending. >> there have also been statements from defense secretary bob gates and joint chiefs of staff chairman admiral mike mullen about the fact that there is a determination in the united states military and throughout the united states government to get this young soldier back. despite that nearly unanimous
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feeling, some of the reaction of the right wing has been, frankly, bizarre. here is retired colonel ralph peters commenting on the plight yesterday. >> nobody in the military that i've heard is defending this guy. he is an apparent deserter. reports are indeed that he abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post and walked off. we know this private is a liar. we are not sure if he's a deserter but the media needs to hit the pause button and not portray this guy as a hero. if he walked away from his post and buddies in war time, i don't care how hard it sounds. as far as i'm concerned the taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills. >> save us legal hassles and legal bills. presumably advocating that this young soldier be killed by the taliban. whether lieutenant colonel peters is alone in this view or whether he represents some broader american political perversion of the story remains to be seen. i can tell you that so far the most prominent right wing blogger in the country michelle
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malkin linked to mr. peters' comments and described them as, quote, tough words. tough words. i think i could come up with a few other adjectives besides tough that might be more appropriate. joining us is a veteran of the iraq war. thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure, rachel. >> sadly this is not the first time we've seen this type of hostage video over the past few years. you head up the largest iraq and afghanistan veterans group. what is the overall impact of incidents like this? >> i think it's concern. we have tremendous concern for the private, for his family that's going through unimaginable anguish. our hearts go out to that family. with regard to colonel peters he needs to shut his mouth. he doesn't know what happened on the ground. nobody knows what happened on the ground. that private is an american and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. until we know what went down he deserves our support. his family deserves our support and guys like peters need to
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shut up. >> what i'm worried about is lieutenant colonel peters isn't a kook, that there is some sort of politicization of this case, even of the plight of american soldiers we're seeing right now through the looking glass, wrinkle in american politics that i don't understand yet. have we seen americans held in these difficult circumstances before made into political pawns and used outside the military? >> that's the intent of the taliban. they want to use this guy as a propaganda prop. obviously the statements are coerced. that's the design to try to sway public opinion. they are trying to seem as though they're treating him well. i think they realize there is a public opinion war that is important arguably as the war on the ground but we have to understand he is under tremendous duress. we want him returned safely. right now the u.s. military is looking high and low and everywhere to try to get this guy back safely to his family. >> how do you approach a story like this in the country knowing people do have a very strong
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emotional reaction and knowing this can get the war back on the front pages in a way a less personalized story might not. how do you handle a story like this in the country without essentially furthering the taliban's propaganda aims which we know they have? >> i think we highlight the bravery and the courage and the sacrifice of all of these families, thousands of people just like this private who have been in harm's way and help people understand there is a personal component to war. there is a visceral impact of seeing a young, 23-year-old guy on tv, hearing about his family, his hometown. it's something you really don't hear between the numbers of 10,000 troops here and 20,000 troops there. back when pat tillman was killed, that was the first time americans had a visceral reaction to somebody they felt they knew. less than one-half of 1% of the american population has served in iraq and afghanistan. most americans don't personally know somebody. this can connect them to that sacrifice, to the human cost, and to our military in a world where the civil-military relationship has really been stretched.
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>> paul riekhoff, executive director and founder of afghanistan veterans of america. thanks for coming in talking to us. >> thank you. back in washington republicans are very excited about partisan points that can be scored by campaigning against health care reform. they're saying health care will be obama's waterloo. actually look at how the fight's going so far, health care looks more like it might be obama's pageant court and he's not france. south carolina governor mark sanford says cheating on his wife made him a better husband. .
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want to hear why the hardest thing to do in american politics might finally happen this year though it's never happened before? check it out. >> if we're able to stop obama on this it will be his waterloo. it will break him. >> it will break him. republican senator jim demint of south carolina presumably trying to rally conservative activists to oppose health care reform on a friday conference call. what he actually did of course was give the white house all of the ammunition they need to portray the opposition to fixing health care as a political goal that has everything to do with scoring points against democrats and nothing to do with what's right for the country. >> just the other day one republican senator said and i'm quoting him now, if we're able to stop obama on this, it will
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be his waterloo. it will break him. think about that. this isn't about me. this isn't about politics. this is about a health care system that is breaking america's families. breaking america's businesses and breaking america's economy. we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. not this time, not now. >> on the republican side, there isn't yet a counterproposal on the table. so the fight is not about what to do about health care. right now it's about whether or not we should do anything at all. the republican party chairman today gave a press conference in which he said that plans to reform health care were socialist and then he said he wasn't prepared to actually talk about health care policy at all. his exact phrase was, i don't do policy. >> do we support requiring individuals to get health care? again, that is one of those
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areas where there -- there is different opinions by some in the house and the senate on this. look, i don't do policy. i'm not a legislator. >> i don't do policy. i'm just here to do a press conference about health care policy. why are you asking me about policy? what is this policy anyway? mr. steele also managed to miss the news that harry and louise, the tv ad couple who helped kill health care reform 15 years ago are now actually for health care reform. >> harry and louise helped save us from hillary clinton's health care experiments in 1994. this year harry and louise have been replaced by another couple. harry reid and nancy pelosi. >> actually it's not the '90s anymore and even harry and louise know it. >> it looks like we may finally get health care reform. >> it's about time. because every day more and more people are finding they can't
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afford health care. a little more cooperation, a little less politics. we can get the job done this time. >> joining us now is pennsylvania governor ed rendell. thanks so much for joining us tonight. really appreciate your time. >> hi, rachel. how are you? >> great. thanks. i got to ask you. you've got a great political compass. you can predict things well. is this finally the year after decades the stars will align to fix health care? >> absolutely. i think the people in the senate and the house, democrats and a lot of republicans, too, understand barack obama was elected to make change and the primary domestic change that the american people want is accessible, affordable health care, health care that can't be taken away when you get sick, health care that can't be denied to you because you have a preexisting condition. the system needs change. it's broken. american people want to fix it and congress will eventually respond. >> there is not a republican counterproposal on health care
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policy. rnc chairman michael steele admitted as much today. essentially he said that he was there to do a policy free, pure politics discussion of health care. and given that that's so far been the republican approach i understand why they're calling for a delay. the thing i don't understand is why conservative democrats, some conservative democrats, are also calling for a delay. do you understand that? >> you know, i do in part because i think there are a lot of conservative democrats who are afraid of exploding deficits and the prediction from the cbo is something that makes everyone sit back and say, wow. how are we going to pay for this? i think the proposal to tax the top 1% of people in america and pay for health care that way and pay for health care by the cost containment that the president wants to put in place are very reasonable and something we all should support. one of the problems is the way the cbo scores things. there's no doubt in my mind from
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our own experience in pennsylvania that you can do cost containment and cut costs. let me give you one example. in pennsylvania we passed an aggressive law to police hospital acquired infections. hospital acquired infections were killing 2500 people a year in pennsylvania, costing in charges to the system $3.5 billion. in just one year after the law, we reduced hospital acquired infections by 8% and cut $358 million of charges out of the health care delivery system. that's just one of 20 different ideas to contain and cut costs. so we can cut costs. i don't know how the cbo scored it and said there are not going to be any cost reductions from the obama plan. i think the plan will cut costs dramatically. we'll find out it's far more affordable to do this than anybody thinks. >> the argument from the republican side has not been that there is some way to reform health care that's different than what the president and democrats are proposing. their argument thus far, and it
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may change, boiled down to we have the best health care system in the country. stop whining. why do you want to mess with something that's working so well? do you think that's going to be the plan they stick with? it seems that has to change. >> yeah. and i don't think that washes with any of the american people. the statistics are pretty clear. we have the most expensive health care system in the world. but in things like infant mortality, cancer, aids, things that govern wellness of the people, we're in the mid to low teens. we're 15th or 18th or 19th. so we're spending the most and we're not getting the best return on our investment. far from it. so the system has to change. look, do we have the best doctors and hospitals in the world? of course we do. of course we do. and we should be proud of that. but the system needs changing. the system can contain costs, very common sense ways of doing it. and there's no excuse for the richest country in the world to have 47 million americans without health care and another
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30 or 40 who have inadequate health care, health care that drops them if they get cancer for example. that's unacceptable in the usa in the year 2009. >> pennsylvania governor ed rendell, thanks very much for your time tonight, sir. always great to have you on the show. >> thanks, rachel. the secretive religious group in washington that has ties to all the current major national republican sex scandals is starting to get slightly less shy. members of congress affiliated with c street are starting to talk publicly about the group, mostly so far to defend how secretive the group has been. also, yet another member of congress affiliated with c street seems determined to make himself famous in a bad way. that's coming up in a moment. [ engine revving ] [ engine powers down ] gentlemen, you booked your hotels on orbitz. well, the price went down, so you're all getting a check thanks. for the difference. except for you -- you didn't book with orbitz,
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still ahead, south carolina governor mark sanford has more thoughts he'd like to share with us about cheating on his wife. tmi violation times infinity. jeff sharlet will join us in a moment. plus, pat buchanan's appearance on the show last week has necessitated a followup this evening. that's all coming up over the course of the hour. but first we have breaking news from the white house tonight. a report that's key to the president's plan to close guantanamo is due tomorrow. we have learned tonight it won't be ready for another six months. the delay was first reported by "newsweek" investigative correspondent and msnbc contributor michael isikoff who says the report is late because of continued divisions inside
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the obama administration over indefinite detention. mr. isikoff also reports that a second report on interrogations that was also due this week is going to be delayed by two months. now, these delays of course raise new questions about whether the president will be able to meet his january 2010 deadline for closing the prison at guantanamo. the delays were confirmed at a white house briefing tonight where according to mr. isikoff, quote, one senior administration official twice referred to closing guantanamo as a goal. when pressed they said it was on track. remember when closing guantanamo by january was a commitment, not just a goal? in some holy mackerel news tonight one of the strangest conspiracy theories to bog down conservative politics in recent months has been the theory that president obama isn't actually president. that despite him posting his birth certificate online and all contemperaneous evidence to the contrary the birther conspiracy theorists believe the president wasn't really born in hawaii but
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somewhere foreign and therefore isn't really president. americans love a good conspiracy theory. present company included. there are always conspiracy theories around. but the birthers are changing american politics by making inroads into the republican party. ten republican members of congress are now signed on to proposed birther legislation in congress and nonbirther, relatively moderate republicans such as mike castle of delaware, are finding that their normal republican political events like town hall meetings in home districts are getting taken over by these conspiracy folks. we have an incredible piece of tape for you shot earlier this summer. this is a recent mike castle town hall in delaware. kind of amazing footage. >> this lady has had her hand up for sometime. >> thank you.
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i have a birth certificate here from the united states of america saying i am an american citizen with a seal on it with the hospital administrator's name, my parents, my date of birth, the time, and date. i want to know why are people ignoring his birth certificate? [ cheering and applause ] >> he is not an american citizen. he is a citizen of kenya. my father fought in world war ii with the greatest generation. i want my country back! [ cheering ]
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>> if you're referring to the president, he is a citizen of the united states. >> i think we should all stand up and pledge allegiance to the flag. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god,
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indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> the birther conspiracy theorists are taking over normal republican politics. some smart democratic strategist should take credit for starting this. taking its rightful place in a long line of amazing performance machines. this is the new e-coupe. this is mercedes-benz. this is the new e-coupe.
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if there is one piece of common political wisdom one might think south carolina governor mark sanford would have absorbed over the course of his very public sex scandal it's that that scandal stopped getting worse for him when he stopped talking about it. the governor apparently has not taken that to heart. this weekend he wrote a newspaper op-ed explaining how famously cheating on his wife will make him better, better at pretty much everything. quote, i've been humbled and broken as never before in my life and as a consequence i've given up areas of control in a way that i never have before and it is my belief that this will make me a better father, husband, friend, and advocate. you know the old adage. nothing improves a husband like him having an affair with a woman in argentina.
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telling "roll call", quote, it's a great place, and vowing to continue holding foreign policy meetings with african ambassadors at the c street house. the former ohio congressman tony hall tells the prayer breakfasts he attended at c street were, quote, probably some of the best moments i had during the week, precisely because we closed the doors. c street is also in the news anew because of something that happened on the house floor last week. a member of congress, one with ties to c street, argued against public funding for abortion
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services by saying that if there were public funding for abortion, barack obama might have been aborted as a fetus. also, clarence thomas. >> if you think of it in human terms, there is a financial incentive that will be put in place, paid for by tax dollars, that will encourage women who are in, or single parents living below the poverty level, to have the opportunity for a free abortion. if you take that scenario and apply it to many of the great minds we have today, who we have been deprived of? our president grew up in those similar circumstances. if that financial incentive was in place is it possible that his mother may have taken advantage of it? clarence thomas, supreme court justice, if those circumstances were in place, is it possible we'd be denied his great mind? >> representative todd tiahart, republican of kansas.
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wonder how he settled on those two, clarence thomas and barack obama. what do they have in common? congressman tiahart was first elected as part of the republican revolution in 1994 and is now running for the united states senate in kansas. joining us now is jeff sharlet who broke about congressman tiahart's affiliation with c street in his book "the family, the secret fundamentalism at the heart of american power." thanks very much for joining us. really appreciate. >> hi, rachel. thanks for having me back. >> while you were under cover in the family doing the reporting for "harper's" and your book you attended a meeting between congressman tiahart and doug co, the long-time leader of the family. what happened at that meeting and what impression did you get of mr. tiahart's position in the family. >> it was a spiritual counseling session the sort ensign was
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tiahart had sex on the brain only of a different sort. he said he was very concerned with the numbers of babies muslims are having. he said americans are killing too many of their babies while muslims are having too many and we need to have more babies and outlaw abortion so we can win the race with the muslims. and what happened was that doug co, the leader of the family, said that's fine as far as it goes but doesn't go far enough. he said i want you to think of bigger. i want you to think of jesus plus nothing. it's a phrase they mean to suggest something they call the totalitarian of christ. >> what's the totalitarianism of christ? >> by that he meant, he said, think about what you need to do is form a covenant, a private covenant with your brothers in christ. men like ensign, coburn and sanford. he says when you do this, commit total loyalty to each other and you vow to keep each other's secrets, you can accomplish much more.
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he gave congressman tiahart examples of guys who had done this very well he thought. hitler, pol pot, osama bin laden and lenin. it makes your jaw drop. congressman tiahart thought this was very wise advice. >> his invocation of the abortion of president obama as a fetus on the floor of the house was such a shock it even earned him immediate booing in the house which the house doesn't usually do. this kind of wild argument that he made, does it make sense to you in the context of the family's teachings or philosophy or is that the sort of thing they would frown on? >> i think it shows he's not quite ready for primetime. the family, what they're generally looking for is someone like a senator ensign, preaffair. a much more polished figure, or governor sanford, a much more polished figure. keep in mind, you know, several years ago governor sanford was talking about winning the race with muslims. now he's changed a little bit. instead of calling obama a baby killer he's saying wouldn't it be a shame if obama had been
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aborted. so for him, this is a lighter touch. this is a part of his grooming process or what the family calls discipling which is preparing him for what looks very likely a possibility that he'll be the next senator from kansas. >> jeff, when we are starting to hear more from members of congress and political leaders who have been associated with the family, with c street, sort of starting to come out of the woodwork a little bit, mostly defending the group, when we're hearing from these people who have had affiliations with the group, when they describe c street, when they describe the family, does what they're saying comport with what you reported? do you recognize the organization that they're describing when you think back on your own reporting on the way the group works? >> well, there are pieces of it. we saw a lot of the congressmen coming forth like senator graham and representative randy forbes. they talk about how this provides for them a safe space. senator sam brownbeck explained the same thing. we were sitting in his kitchen in kansas and he said it's a safe place to talk about policy
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issues, even sexual matters. but what's interesting about this is these very powerful men feeling that they're so vulnerable that they need a safe space. senator demint even said it's a place where we remember that senator this, senator that. it's just a title. they apparently forget and, no, it's not just a title. it's a responsibility, a trust they've been given by the public. that is very much in keeping with what happens there. but it is at the end of the day far more political as senator inhofe tried to talk about in his comments. >> jeff sharlet, author of the book "the family, the secret fundamentalism at the heart of american power" and a man we've been keeping very busy lately. thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you, rachel. coming up on "countdown" president obama called the republican party on the carpet for their crusade against health care reform and next on this show you may have caught my rather heated conversation with my colleague pat buchanan last
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week about judge sotomayor's supreme court nomination. we have a very specific kind of followup to that conversation up next.t, medical bills will wipe out their savings. if we don't act, she'll be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. and he won't get the chemotherapy he needs. if we don't act, health care costs will rise 70%. and he'll have to cut benefits for his employees. but we can act. the president and congress have a plan to lower your costs and stop denials for pre-existing conditions. it's time to act.
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the idea of trying to say, well, she was on the puerto rican defense thing and we have to ask some questions about that. i hope we don't go back to the day when we used to have african-americans up for confirmation and say, yes, but you belong to the naacp. you know, we're really suspicious of you. come on. stop the racial politics. >> come on, pat. >> i disagree. >> that's how it comes across. it comes across that if you -- if you belong to a group that tries to help hispanics, help them in school, help them in other things, somehow you're suspicious. the same arguments were used against thurgood marshall and others. i think it's wrong. >> the two top senators on the committee that handles supreme court nominations appearing yesterday on cnn, crystalizing the impact of the sonia sotomayor confirmation hearings. senator leahy the chairman of the committee saying stop the racial politics. the vote on judge sotomayor's
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nomination is expected to happen at the latest by a week from tomorrow. barring something truly unforeseen, she will be confirmed by a large margin. the united states supreme court will get its first latino justice and the washington battle over her nomination will be remembered less for what it revealed about the nominee and more for what it revealed about just how much overt racial politics americans can still stomach. after msnbc contributor pat buchanan penned a column last week urging more racial politics over sonia sotomayor's nomination, he and i had a heated discussion on this show about race and about judge sotomayor's nomination. if you missed it, essentially pat and i had a sharp disagreement over judge sotomayor's statement that she's an affirmative action baby. i think that in our history some americans have been kept out of positions of power and wealth and influence by discrimination. and that that tends to be a self-perpetuating thing, restricting the best jobs, best schools, best incomes, best opportunities to a single group
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tends to set that group up to continue to prosper disproportionately. historic discrimination doesn't undo itself but has to be overtly interrupted by affirmatively helping some people from previously excluded groups into positions where they have the opportunity to succeed. so we as a country don't end up sealing in place forever a white supremacists society created by and defined by segregation and jim crow and slavery. current discrimination has to be stopped now and the ongoing effects of massive structural past discrimination have to be overtly overturned as well. that's my position. pat sees it differently. he describes affirmative action as overt discrimination against white males. full stop. and i don't want to speak for him. pat has been making these arguments a long time and he says what he means and means what he says. >> they are victims of this evil affirmative action policy which says in effect that everybody is covered by the 14th amendment and the civil rights laws. unless you're a white male and
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parents and ancestors came from europe, then we can discriminate against you. >> that is the argument pat made. it's not cool to talk about guests after their segment is over and relitigate their argument in the absence of the party that participated in the argument. i will not do that now. i do feel obliged to correct things that were stated as facts and were not true. i feel an obligation to correct the factual record as anything else that was stated as fact on this show that was not true. first in trying to make the case that judge sotomayor was unqualified for the supreme court, pat said this, "she's never written anything that i've read in terms of a law review article or major book or something like that on the law." while it may very well be true pat has not read judge sotomayor's articles, he should not have implied she hasn't written them. our staff tracked five articles she has written for the law review.
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he also stated, "how did she get on yale law review? affirmative action." a spokesperson at yale told us the students themselves choose who is on the law journal. when asked about pat's affirmative action claim specifically, a spokesperson told us, "that is a statement of opinion by mr. buchanan." here is the statement from my discussion with pat that does require the most emphatic correction. >> white men were 100% of the people that wrote the constitution, 100% of the people that signed the declaration of independence, 100% of the people who died at gettysburg and vixburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at normandy. this is a country built basically by white folks. >> pat joined us for this discussion from a studio in washington, d.c., that is not far from the white house, which was of course built by slaves.
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who were not white folks. the u.s. capitol the physical building was built by slaves. the city of washington, d.c., where pat spent his entire life was physically built in part by slave labor. it's not even possible to imagine how america could have competed in a place in the global economy in the 1800s without plantation tobacco, cotton and rice and the industries so thoroughly dependent on slave labor. >> this has been a country built basically by white folks. >> that statement is only true if you don't consider any one other than white folks to be folks. even if you only consider slave labor, even if, for example, you reimagine the railroad somehow magically building themselves without chinese laborers, the idea that only white people built america is a fantasy and it should not have been maintained on this show as fact. as for who has died for this country in combat? more than 200,000 black
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americans fought for the union in the civil war. thousands fought for the confederacy. 1.2 million african-americans served in world war ii. the defense department says 10,000 mexican americans fought for the union during the civil war. hundreds of thousands of hispanics fought in world war ii. 12 hispanics awarded the medal of honor. 24 asian americans received the medal of honor. >> this is a country basically built by white folks. >> that's just not true. i love white folks. i'm white folks. yeah, white folks. it's just not factually true to generalize from white experience how america came to be. a clarification. pat said over and over again in our discussion that he is against affirmative action. rick pearlstein turned up a memo in 1971 which pat actually suggested an affirmative action program to richard nixon's white house. i was an affirmative action
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program for catholics. "instead of sending the orders out to all our agencies, hire blacks and women, the order should go out hire ethnic catholics, preferable women for visible posts. one example, italian americans, unlike blacks never had a supreme court member. give those fellows the jewish seat or black seat on the court when it becomes available." in other words, choose a supreme court nominee in part on the basis of ethnicity and religion, said pat to nixon. those are our corrections and clarifications. oh, one other. pat said, "the u.s. track team in the olympics, they're all black folks." the u.s. olympic track team is not all black, folks or otherwise. also the olympic hockey team is not all from minnesota either. which he also said. we regret these errors ending up on the show. product do women think is best?
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we turn now to our red alert correspondent, hi, kent jones. >> hi, rachel. does the color red make people crazy? >> yes. >> let's take a look. there's that birther in the red shirt and that mccain supporter also in a red shirt. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him and he's not he's 50% egyptian. >> he's going to change the white house to pyramids. >> i'm not saying there is a direct correlation between the color red and, shall we say, extreme behavior? but there's something going on here.
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>> we don't want you! >> red associated with some predy in-your-face stuff like bullfighting. jessica rabbit. anti-fur protests. mars. nebraska fans. worldwide communism. lobsters. creepy, right? the electoral map from 1984 and her. >> we're fisherman. we know only dead fish go with the flow. >> if you are going to a political rally and you have something important you want to say, may i suggest wearing a nice beige? >> that's cute, kent. >> sure. >> quick cocktail moment for you. nasa celebrated 40 years since the first moon walk today by making a 3 1/2 foot wide 55-pound marshmallow moon pie. thanks, kent. "countdown" starts right now.
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intensive care. will the health bill make it? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, health care. now in surgery. president obama's everywhere selling action on the national health care bill. with just a few weeks to go before the congressional august recess, the president will be highly visible with speeches, interviews, and a prime time news conference on wednesday night. all this as the latest abc news/"washington post" poll shows the president is still popular, but with skepticism growing over whether he can do the job on the economy and health care. the president's poll numbers are still the envy of republicans, whose ratings continue to be at a near all-time low. democrats have received more
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popular votes than republicans in four of the past five presidential elections. and the gop has lost 54 house seats and 15 senate seats in the past two cycles. rnc chairman michael steele comes to "hardball" tonight. how does he intend to reverse the democratic tide that threatens to bury his party? plus, so much has been said and written about walter cronkite since he died on friday evening. we're going to do something special here tonight. dan rather will join us, and he and i will look back at an interview i did with cronkite back in '96 when he revealed some things about himself that might surprise you about the most trusted man in america. also, it's getting near do or die for president obama and health care. he stakes his presidency on getting this done and getting it done this year. let's see how that bet looks in "the politics fix." and tonight i'll show you where i was those recent two weeks when i was gone from the